Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Independence, California

A short drive along Highway 395 took us to the small town of Independence to visit the Eastern Sierra Museum.   It’s a small museum with many interesting things relating to both the ancient and recent history of the Owens Valley.   It’s definitely somewhere we could return to and find things we missed on this trip.
We also took a walk through the Native Plant Garden at the rear of the museum, where we had a good view of the High Sierra.
I’m not sure what this bird is, but it posed long enough for me to take a photograph.

We also took the short walking tour through town. 

The Commanders House was built at Fort Independence in 1873 to replace adobe buildings destroyed in an earthquake.   Commanding Officers lived in the house until the fort was abandoned in 1877.  The building was bought at auction in 1883 for $345.00 by V G Thompson.
In 1889 it was sold again to Mr S A Densmore who moved it to its present position.   The City of Los Angeles bought the house in 1928 and it remained a private residence until 1961.
In 1968 the house was leased to Inyo County and is now operated by the Eastern California Museum.

The beautiful Inyo County Courthouse was built in 1921 in the Classical Revival style by architect William H Weeks.   It is the only example of it’s kind in the Owens Valley.   In 1998 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Winnedumah Hotel was built in the 1920’s and had a Grand Re-opening sign outside when we visited.

This lovely building was once a restaurant, and now has a for lease outside.

Main Street.

This is the old hospital building.

Mary Austin began her writing career in 1900 with the publication of a book of essays about the Owens Valley.   Her first book published in 1903 “The Land of Little Rain” which is still in print is considered a literary classic. 
This was her home when she lived in Independence.

Have fun, we are!

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